In this discussion document, the arguments for a radical and rapid devolution to local government of resources and responsibilities for tackling worklessness are set out. The many reasons why local government is ideally placed to tackle this country’s problems of entrenched worklessness are dealt with, but a key element of the argument concerns the proposed financing mechanism.
- We argue that local authorities should be allowed a degree of responsibility similar in scope and scale to that of ‘prime contractors’ in the current Flexible New Deal.
- To incentivise them, local authorities should be rewarded according to the saving they make in the nation’s welfare bill by helping local people into employment.
- Government would gain by increased tax revenue. Because the combined income from tax and benefit savings is shared, we describe the arrangement as ‘Going Dutch’.